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Tour de Pologne

Gerben Thijssen wins a royal sprint

The Belgian sprinter of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux rewarded the work of his teammates in the Tour de Pologne in the nicest way by winning the second stage this Sunday, his first success at World Tour level.

His teammates protected him during the 205 kilometer stage, for example by guiding him through the crosswinds in the first race half on wet roads. 

The seven riders directed by Pieter Vanspeybrouck and Bart Wellens stayed united in the front of the peloton while the survivors of the early breakaway were caught one by one.

The teammates of Gerben Thijssen were present in the lead of the peloton at the first crossing of the finish line with 8 kilometer to go and then perfectly managed the final though the streets of Zamość.

Gerben Thijssen was dropped off by Boy van Poppel with 400 meter to go. He passed Pascal Ackermann to win with authority. He takes his second success this season, less than three months after his winning sprint at the Dunkirk Four Day which was his first professional victory.

« I promised myself to offer the team a new victory. But obtaining my first World Tour victory here in Poland, that’s unbelievable! In addition, I precede several sprinters I admired when I was young, like Mark Cavendish. Roger Kluge launched the sprint quite early, around 300 meter before the finish. Pascal Ackermann came with high speed from the back, I could follow him and I immediately felt that I could overtake him to take the victory. Actually, I didn’t feel great in the beginning, but seeing the pulls of Laurens, Hugo, Julius, Quinten and Boy all day long gave me more and more adrenaline when approaching the finish. I really wanted to finish on the podium to reward the work of my teammates, because once more they gave everything to make this scenario possible. I’m very grateful for their confidence since the start of the season and the opportunities I receive from the team. I’m looking to the future with confidence. In this Tour de Pologne I want to do what I can to help Quinten Hermans as close as possible to the victory in the general classification before sprinting in the streets of Cracow on the final day. »

« This second victory of the season for Gerben Thijssen really pleases me! Our young sprinter has a couple of difficult years behind the back. There was of course his bad accident at the Ghent Six Days in November 2019, but also the fact that he didn’t often receive the opportunity to sprint in his previous team. Within Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, we believed in his talent and we immediately started building a sprint train around him. The efforts of our Performance cel and the team around Gerben already delivered several podiums and a nice victory at the Dunkirk Four Day in the beginning of the season. Today, this hard work led to his first victory on World Tour level. I want to underline the fantastic work of our young team today, with Quinten Hermans and the experimented Boy van Poppel as last elements in the train. This victory is a new important step in the development of Gerben and confirms that the strategy around our sprint trains bears fruit. We can look to the future with confidence! »


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